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Anyone Interested in Learning Technique With Me?

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mr drinky

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Ok, first of all I am talking about cooking technique in general and not exclusively cutting technique.

Also, I am not provoking the pro chefs out there, but mostly the amateurs among us (though both are welcomed). Stefan started a thread about a cookbook recipe challenge which I have diligently kept up, but part of me would like to downgrade the weekly demand to a monthly one. Sorry.

Today I just received Pepin's Complete Techniques cookbook and was wondering if anyone was interested in learning technique -- month by month. One technique per month.

I'm suggesting anything: sauces, hydrocolloids, meringue, cheese, butter, tournee of whatever...anything. Something basic. If you are interested, reply...if not, I will continue drinking my bottle of wine and do it on my own.

Anyhow...one of the best days of my cooking life was the day I learned to make my own butter from cream. It was the best butter ever...until I tried beurre Bordier that is...but that is another story.

If 12 people are interested, then we can all pick a technique. More are welcome. Show of hands.

k.
 

unkajonet

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Maybe...how is the book? I just got "burned" by a cookbook (0 for 3 of their recipes), and am looking to jump into something else...
 

tk59

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I'd be up for this. I need a little inspiration.
 

mr drinky

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Maybe...how is the book? I just got "burned" by a cookbook (0 for 3 of their recipes), and am looking to jump into something else...
I haven't checked it out much yet -- only had it a handful of hours, but it does have a boat load of technique I would never use and a lot of others I could see using.

k.
 

sachem allison

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It's Jacque Pepin what do you think? Of course it's good. I have been very fortunate in my career to cook for him several times and with him once and he is the man. a true chef in every sense of the word. That book is a classic and one of the very first books to bring the Technique aspect of French cooking to America.
 

unkajonet

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I meant no offense :scared2:

I actually love his show on pbs. I was just wondering if it transferred to his books...
 

tk59

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No sense trying to save face, unka. The damage is done.
 

sachem allison

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i'm not offended, Julia and him are the only two celebrity chefs that I have met or cooked for that I really adore and respect. Unfortunately Julia is gone.The books are much more technical than a regular cookbook. Jacque well tell you its all about technique and experience over a recipe. He told me once that you should never follow a recipe exactly because everyone's palette is different. The recipe is a guide at best. change ingredients if something fresher can be found, or better quality. Be flexible . Like you said many recipes do not translate well. The reason for that is that most of us chefs don't go by recipes, we go by taste and experience and that makes writing a cookbook very difficult.
 

Lucretia

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Interested, time allowing. How are you thinking about doing this? Working strictly from the Pepin book, or picking a technique to work on, and then everyone can use their various references and report back on how things went for them--what worked, what didn't. I just put a hold on "Complete Techniques" at the library, but no telling when I'll get my spot in the queue. In the meantime, I've got other books that could be used. If we're all using/discussing different books, we might each find a helpful tidbit and benefit from multiple sources. Just a thought.
 

Lucretia

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Anyhow...one of the best days of my cooking life was the day I learned to make my own butter from cream. It was the best butter ever...until I tried beurre Bordier that is...but that is another story.
k.
I remember the first experience with making butter from cream--it was in brownies (you know, pre-girl scouts.) The troop leaders put cream in a mason jar and each little girl got to take a stint shaking it. We then ate the butter we'd made on matzoh crackers. It made enough of an impression that I still remember after more decades than I want to mention...
 

mr drinky

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How are you thinking about doing this? Working strictly from the Pepin book, or picking a technique to work on, and then everyone can use their various references and report back on how things went for them--what worked, what didn't.
That was pretty much how I saw it. Everyone who's in can throw in suggestions from any source, and in the end we choose twelve. Then a new thread is started and all who have the time can work on it that month and report back success, failure or whatever.

Here are some ideas I am tossing around.

* David Chang's 5:10 soft-boilded eggs
* Corn Tortillas
* A Souffle
* Croissants (or a baguette)
* Potatoes Gaufrettes (waffled potatoe fries)
* A compound butter roll

I remember the first experience with making butter from cream--it was in brownies (you know, pre-girl scouts.) The troop leaders put cream in a mason jar and each little girl got to take a stint shaking it. We then ate the butter we'd made on matzoh crackers. It made enough of an impression that I still remember after more decades than I want to mention...
As for the butter in the jar thing. I still make mine that way, but now that I have a kitchen aid mixer, I might upgrade ;)

k.
 

lowercasebill

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i am interested!
i made thomas keller's Ad Hoc at Home chicken soup saturday night.. good but took too much time. lots of left over stock so i made italian wedding soup with matzo balls with that ... good stuff. the big plus is i can now make a quenelle!!
 

DeepCSweede

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I am interested. I have been experimenting with several cookbooks lately, in addition to trying a few new Venison Recipes from several of my "Game / Venison" cookbooks. My wife and I also started experimenting with Quinoa this week.
 

bikehunter

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Maybe...how is the book? I just got "burned" by a cookbook (0 for 3 of their recipes), and am looking to jump into something else...
Save yourself a lot of pain and aggrivation and get the DVD version. Some of these techniques I can't imagine learning by written instructions alone, without watching it done by Jacques. I got mine from the library and copied it. Watch it over and over. Jacques deboning a chicken is a sight to behold...doesn't mean you'll do it right the first time...or the second...or third. ;-)
 

mr drinky

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Some of these techniques I can't imagine learning by written instructions alone, without watching it done by Jacques.
I can see that. I also paged through the whole thing this morning and there is a heavy emphasis on the decorative food arts. The French love carving those flowers and animals onto food. I would guess that there are 200+ pages of this.

As for some other food projects I've been wanting to try:
* ricotta cheese
* beef jerky (using Alton's box fan method)
* quick, small batch stock (Pepin)
* pita/flat bread
* preserved lemons
* tea smoking meats (oven or grill)
* vinegar from leftover wine

k.
 

bikehunter

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I can see that. I also paged through the whole thing this morning and there is a heavy emphasis on the decorative food arts. The French love carving those flowers and animals onto food. I would guess that there are 200+ pages of this.
k.
Exactly. I don't have a problem with the recipes (well...not much anyhow) , but if you can make butter or tomato roses, a sugar cage, or an apple swan, by reading text and looking at pictures... without seeing the master actually doing it...my hat is off to you. ;-)
 

Pabloz

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I'd like to...gotta get the book first...I could do the pita thing from memory.

PZ
 

mr drinky

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i am interested!
i made thomas keller's Ad Hoc at Home chicken soup saturday night.. good but took too much time. lots of left over stock so i made italian wedding soup with matzo balls with that ... good stuff. the big plus is i can now make a quenelle!!
yep, that Keller soups is labor intensive, but it was that recipe that got me thinking about this. There was so much technique crammed into one soup: his blanching technique, quenelles, stock, making a roux, and his parchment lids.

k.
 

mr drinky

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I'd like to...gotta get the book first...I could do the pita thing from memory.

PZ
Just a note, most of the ideas I have thrown out so far are not in the Pepin book, so it isn't a necessary purchase.

k.
 

rahimlee54

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yep, that Keller soups is labor intensive, but it was that recipe that got me thinking about this. There was so much technique crammed into one soup: his blanching technique, quenelles, stock, making a roux, and his parchment lids.

k.
The soup was excellent, not bad since I spread it out over 2 days. Had to make the stock for it though since I was out, which was a little annoying. I am in for buying a book or no, the Ppepin book is only 16.50 on amazon currently. In case anyone didn't have a chance to look.
 

sw2geeks

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I can see that. I also paged through the whole thing this morning and there is a heavy emphasis on the decorative food arts. The French love carving those flowers and animals onto food. I would guess that there are 200+ pages of this.

As for some other food projects I've been wanting to try:
* ricotta cheese
* beef jerky (using Alton's box fan method)
* quick, small batch stock (Pepin)
* pita/flat bread
* preserved lemons
* tea smoking meats (oven or grill)
* vinegar from leftover wine

k.
Those sound like fun! Although I have always been a little scared of Alton's meat fan. I think I will stick to my smoker for jerky :biggrin:
 
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